“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Phil 4:11-13.
About a month ago, my grandson and I were traveling to Virginia for a mini-vacation. We were making great time when traffic came to a screaming halt, forcing us to remain in that town for the night. In an effort to entertain him, we went into Wal-Mart and he chose a video game for his DS. In addition, I allowed him to choose various treats such as candy, snacks, etc… We checked into a nice hotel and within moments we were at the pool and hot tub relaxing. With his hair soaking wet, his new DS game on the table and his mouth stuffed with candy he asked… ‘What’s next Emmy?’ ‘What about tomorrow?’ I was tired and frustrated at his lack of being satisfied in the moment.
How many times is our life full of candy but we look to God and say ‘What’s next?’ ‘What about tomorrow, next week, next year?’ ‘What will you do for me today?’ Paul learned the secret to joy and contentment, and it had nothing to do with this world. His joy and satisfaction came from his relationship with Jesus Christ…not what he had the bank or what his comfort was at the time. He was well aware that true joy came as a gift from the Holy Spirit.
Attaching joy to future events, relationships or expectations will produce certain outcomes. We will miss out or minimize any present joy we could have experienced. We will miss God’s message to us in the present situation. We can’t be fully engaged in our present life if our heart is in the future. Most importantly, when looking to the future for joy, we fail to appreciate the blessings of the day from God.
True joy will be realized when we recognize that while we have been delayed from our destination we still have candy in our mouth and dripping wet with blessings!
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